Women’s College Basketball Recap: Week 7
Baylor defeats Tennessee, UConn remains undefeated and more.
by Christian Mordi / @mordi_thecomeup
“We just came out prepared and on fire,” Brittney Griner said. “Any time we play Tennessee, it’s a high-intensity game.” The Lady Vols were riding a seven-game winning streak, but that came to a halt in Texas against Baylor in the game of the week, losing 73-56.
Baylor has seemed to completely shook off its early season loss to Stanford. Considering the strength of the team’s schedule, many argue the Lady Bears are still the best team in the nation. Going into the new year, Baylor looks forward to redeeming themselves against undefeated UConn.
1. Stanford (Last Week, 1)
Stanford was pressed to the limit against South Carolina, but found a way to come out on top in the final minute, winning 53-49. The Cardinal struggled offensively, barely shooting 40 percent from the field. Stanford also didn’t knock down one three in the game, but got to the line a lot, putting in 15-17 free throws in the contest. Next week the Cardinal will have to be more efficient on offense to keep up with UConn’s high-octane offense.
2. UConn (Last Week, 2)
The Huskies were dominant in their last game against Oakland, winning 97-25. Despite playing limited minutes, Bria Hartley filled up the box score with 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals. The Huskies have shown great depth as of late, as their reserves scored 44 points last game against Oakland. UConn plays Saturday against Hartford and then travels to California for a huge mid-season matchup against Stanford.
3. Baylor (Last Week, 3)
The Bears mauled Tennessee at home, winning 76-53. Baylor logged the first 17 points of the game before Tennessee could see a basket drop. The defending champs were clicking on all cylinders, Brittney Griner was a force down low, and when they doubled, Kimetria Hayden knocked down threes. Baylor’s tough non-conference schedule will benefit them going into conference and post-season play.
4. Duke (Last Week, 4)
The Blue Devils have been on break for the past week, but this time off will be greatly appreciated. Liz Williams, who is coming back from off-season surgery, had more time to heal and increase conditioning. Look for Duke to show great team synergy as they jump into ACC play soon.
5. Kentucky (Last Week, 5)
Despite a close first half with Pepperdine, Kentucky was able to stretch out the lead and pull away, winning 80-62. The game was a homecoming of sorts for California native Wildcat DeNesha Stallworth, who was solid in front of family and friends with 17 points, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Since the loss against Baylor, Kentucky has been on fire with an eight-game winning streak.
6. Notre Dame (Last Week, 6)
The Fighting Irish cruised to victory last game against Alabama A&M, winning 100-39. Skylar Diggins was steady in limited minutes with 15 points. Tonight’s game will be against a very solid Kansas State team, which sits at 7-2 thus far this season, following a tough game against 13th-ranked Purdue at home.
7. Tennessee (Last Week, NR)
The Lady Vols could not buy a bucket early against Baylor, missing their first 11 shots of the game. The slow start was a big factor in the loss against Baylor, as they lost 76-53. Tennessee has a young team, but it shows a lot of promise. The Lady Vols have played five top-25 teams to start the year. Hopefully this tough schedule has made the team more mentally tough in preparation for a deep post-season run.
8. Georgia (Last Week, 8 )
The Bulldogs continue to cruise, as they beat TCU 72-59. Georgia will face their first real challenges of the year in the upcoming weeks at they play a 10-2 Missouri team and travel to Knoxville to play a battle tested Tennessee team. After the next couple weeks we will have a better feel for Georgia.
9. Maryland (Last Week, 7)
Since the loss against UConn, Maryland has beaten their opponents by an average of close to 40 points. The ball continued to roll in the Terps favor as they beat Towson 88-43. Reigning ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas continues to carry the load, as she logged 23 points and 13 rebounds in the contest. Next game up for Maryland is against a tough Delaware team. Lets hope Elena Delle Donne gets to play, as fans would love to see her and Thomas collide in this head-to-head matchup.
10. California (Last Week, NR)
California was able to survive a tough away game against Northwestern, winning 71-65. Cal shot the ball at just a 39 percent clip for the game, but locked up on defense, holding their opponent to under 40 percent as well. Cal made some big plays down the stretch to win the game in the final three minutes. “This is why you schedule games like this,” said Coach Lindsay Gottlieb. “To be on the road in a tournament-like atmosphere and have to respond to adversity.” Next game for Cal is against 19th-ranked Kansas.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Christina Foggie Vanderbilt, guard
There have been many inconsistencies for the Commodores this year, but there has been one steady force all year long: Christina Foggie. The New Jersey native was on fire against 12th-ranked Oklahoma, with 17 points in the victory.
Brooklyn Pope, Baylor, forward
Many people know of the names Odyssey Sims and Brittney Griner, but Brooklyn Pope has played solid ball this year as well. It was only a matter of time before she had a breakout game, and she made the Lady Vols pay. Pope ran the floor and was rewarded by the guards, keeping the pressure on Tennessee. Brooklyn was also dominant on the boards with 16 rebounds against 10th-ranked Tennessee.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Stanford vs Tennessee
Despite the loss to Baylor, this Tennessee team lead by Coach Holly Warlick is loaded with talent in the starting five and nice depth. Stanford, which is led by All-American Chiney Ogwumike, will look to force their will down low and keep the score low. If Tennessee can get this game at a faster tempo and Stanford continues this shooting slump, an upset could be possible in Knoxville.